Duke physicists Jonathan Barés and Robert Behringer and colleagues are using this computerized 3D rendering of beads in a box to serve as a model for soil, sand or snow. Colored lines show the network of forces as the virtual particles are pushed together. Thick red lines connect the particles that are experiencing the brunt of the force.
DURHAM, N.C. – A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern United States, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire; tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site.
Tiny spirals of DNA can encode more than just the color of your eyes or the shape of your nose. Using self-assembling DNA wires, Duke engineer Chris Dwyer is building optical computing chips so compact that you could cram 5,000 movies on a single CD-sized disc. The chromophores (red dots) absorb light and transform it into packets of energy called excitons. Then these excitons leap from chromophore to chromophore in a specific pattern.
The identity of this region of North Carolina as a “Research Triangle” was still more of a concept than a reality in 1965 when the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission gave the three universities $2.5 million to build a cutting-edge laboratory to explore the Nuclear Age.
Borrowing some of its identity from the newly minted Research Triangle Park just a few miles away on Highway 54, the launch of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory was front page news throughout the region.
Duke University researchers and colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley have secured more than $1.8 million from the National Science Foundation to help materials scientists around the world solve a high school math problem in linear algebra.
In the past 15 years, metamaterials have brought breakthroughs like invisibility cloaks, acoustic cloaks, miniaturized flat antennas, and you-don’t-have-to-stop-anymore airport security screenings. During Spring term 2015, Sir John Pendry of Imperial College London visited co-founder of the field David R.
The colored dots and swirls of "dust" in this tornado-shaped diagram represent thousands of chemical compounds grouped by their physical and chemical similarities in a new technique called "materials cartography," by Stefano Curtarolo, a professor of material sciences and physics and PhD student Corey Oses.
A biomaterials lab led by Gabriel Lopez has devised a way to grow uniformly sized particles of silicon gel that can be sorted by soundwaves. In a liquid chamber with a standing acoustic wave, most particles will gather at the nodes where the wave is standing still. But the new particles are actually attracted to the antinodes where the highest point of the wave is constantly shifting up and down.
Taking a lesson from the way human skin can wrinkle, assistant professor Xuanhe Zhao of mechanical engineering and materials science has developed a nanofilm that is spread on a pre-stretched surface and then allowed to relax, creating a microscopic landscape with a precise pattern of high peaks and low valleys. The method produces large-area surface patterns faster, cheaper and with more precision than existing approaches.
There's a graveyard behind Duke University's free electron laser lab where physics experiments go to die.
Scraps of metal and cinderblocks litter the ground, which is overgrown by vines and patrolled by the occasional feral cat. Half a dozen stacked shipping containers line the space, filled with accelerator and detector equipment whose time has passed or was never realized.
But it's not all junk. A team of physicists is resurrecting something precious out there: several tons of surplus battleship steel.